tv [untitled] May 23, 2011 7:30am-8:00am EDT
renia the latest science. from. the future. welcome back here's a recap of the main stories we're covering for you today on r.t. hoping for a piece of breakthrough the russian foreign minister a subsample talks with libyan rebels and palestinian officials in moscow it comes as brock obama continues to push for israel to reach a territorial agreement with the palestinians. the largest sabzi government protest of years gather strength in georgia but the opposition are promising to see the president out by round six thousand seven rally in a couple to receive over the weekend calling on male saakashvili to step down.
plus the e.u. turns up the heat talk greece for not doing enough to stop driving down the euro what's ackland slash is back claiming it's already questioned itself to the limits there are fears that greece may opt out of the euro altogether. and up next our debate cross talk and on this edition host peter lavelle and his guests discuss whether the revolutionary hype in the arab world is the easy heart that's coming up after a short break. case .
law and welcome to cross talk and peter lavelle the arab awakening is often referred to as revolutions in the arab middle east there can be no doubt something important is occurring in this region but should we be using the word revolution dictatorial regimes remain intact and foreign influences continue to prevail. can you. see. crosstalk what is happening in the arab middle east today i'm joined by michael monger in durham he is a professor at duke university in new york we have a loan ben my year he's a professor at new york university and in boston across the daniel pipes he's an author and director of the middle east forum all right gentlemen this is cross talk and there's only one rule you can jump in anytime you want i could go to michael in durham first do you feel comfortable with this term revolutions occurring in the arab world because there are so many different examples where you go all the way
from tunisia to yemen to bahrain egypt we can go on and on if you like to term revolution for anything that's going on in that region right now. well if it's political scientists debate is actually what constitutes a revolution and in a way a revolution is just a successful change of regime it needn't be violent it can be peaceful it's not clear that what's actually going on here is revolutions what we have is a lot of violence by organized military and government it's not clear that these are going to be revolutions in the in the sense that there's a regime change and the optimism that many people early on felt that these would not be just revolutions but then a craddick revolutions i think is not yet been borne out now daniel thanks to you in boston it's very interesting here because if we can we take the examples to two popular examples right now like tunisia and egypt a b they ok you dictator is gone
but the military has taken their place and we still see the reports that came out in the last few hours that torture can in remains in egypt so i mean max i thought i couldn't see that it's a revolution there i mean it's just reached its least that the regime change at the top is gone that's on your head right you are just slightly mad which is sort of it's not the military took over in february from the bar for military has been charged since nine hundred fifty two that the five military leaders now nuclear so got a park and transfer it and we've moved from mubarak to country and i would emphasize regime continuity here. so to me and egypt i would say are couetise by the security military apparatus but in five other places in potential revolution in. the iman in libya and bahrain and syria and iran so no revolution so far but there might be some to come along ben meyer new york what do
you think about that i mean and should we be thinking about revolution in a positive sense ok i mean we can talk about that who will they be democratic. well what we are really witnessing today in the middle east is what i call a revolutionary changes that is revolutionary changes by definition is whether or not the status quo ante will be restored i do not believe that the status quo ante will be restored so in that sense they are revolutionary changes whether the military remains in egypt or in tunisia and elsewhere the changes will have to be to have to take place and i think all our government with no exception in one form or another i would have to introduce some kind of reform in order to meet the expectations of the hopes and aspirations of the people in that sense these are revolutionary changes of the arab world have never experienced before and these
changes are going to continue for some time to come because the wave of instability or wish it changes is going to continue for for a while and no other country is going to follow the same pattern each country is going to got different kind of problem. ok michael fine go to back to you and i mean good is the military in the arab world a good mid life to bring stable democratic societies in your opinion and we don't have enough information yet. i would go farther than to say that the military is not a very good midwife i actually think the mock receive may not be a very good midwife the united states in urging countries to have elections before they really have the other institutions that make a lections possible i think maybe making a mistake if i close my eyes and think what is it that makes the western system of government actually work what allows people self-determination it's not the ballot box it's an independent judiciary and the rule of law so i'm worried that if we
urge countries to have elections before they have any kind of institutions that are ready to do so it will be one election undone that's interesting daniel i mean how do we marriage the two because people are actually people are looking for change is ok and the west while just their kneejerk response is elections and maybe elections are not going to really start solving a lot of these problems right here and i got to you daniel on that one first i go i go further than professor monger and so not only is it will of law but it's all the other aspects of civil society it is freedom of speech freedom of movement and loyal opposition and these are that's all there's very subtle concepts which we in the west which we exactly which we in the west or in the sense born with are very alien much of the world and so it's a long process of developing civil society and then topping it off with marcus and by the way democracy should begin with voting for dog catcher voting from its
accounts or then building up towards voting for the head of head of government it's a long slow process and you can't jump start of a lonely in new york you want to jump in there's a head case in britain yeah you need centuries you know i know i've seen lately you know i think i think the the notion that you can introduce democratic reform that with such a speed it's a terribly mistaken one and the arab world is not a prepared the united states has been pushing for democratic reform and it's not going to work unless the other institution exactly what mike it's. it is absolutely true either institutions are developed in particular i would say. economic development for example if you take egypt you can introduce all the political reform you want when you have fifty p. million people under the poverty line this is election is not going to provide good people want people want jobs and opportunity once they feed their people with education this is the kind of institution you have to create concurrently as you
move toward some kind of political reform but they would have to be rather gradual reform but moving fairly as explained this is the on economic development specifically sustainable development to empower the people from the bottom up do you want to jump in there i would disagree with that with economics as much too with the england developed the first marcus's starting with the magna carta what eight hundred years ago they were not rich by today's standards and there are plenty of countries such as sri lanka which have a civil society without being rich in the plenty of rich countries saudi arabia that don't have civil society so they're really quite different one is not necessary for the other well tindall's daniels' point is right it remain a right and do you know mind legal to have first but it. it may not be well here you have. economic development but the thing is that egypt may actually have another revolution just over the price of wheat they don't have
a middle class developing a middle class is a strong counterbalance to the centralized power of government as long as so many people are dependent for their daily bread literally in egypt for of because of the price of wheat it's really very difficult so certainly dana was right but we need it would be helpful to have some kind of independent middle class the absence of a middle class makes the development of rule of law a much more difficult ok like i had. you want to jump in go ahead no no but you know. there's no question listen when you go to egypt and you see the poverty there and you talk to these people as i have and so many different occasions and they will tell you openly and clearly we do not necessarily want to avoid we are not interested as a matter of fact when you look at the further demonstration in egypt today what you see they are demanding job they want the opportunities they want education they want healthcare they want housing they are there some even are asking to three reverse back and put the emergency laws back in place because there's chaotic
situation is emerging in egypt so what we're talking about here it can i mean development from the other means basically you put need to provide people with basic means so that they can they will be able to feed the kids they'll be able to send their children to school this is what is needed i am not suggesting you have you should know either take no political reform but they said that both would have to go and in and has the united state is offering as it should and many other countries significant economic aid to egypt without which political pull from no matter how how well meant will not will not really result the egyptian problems then you want to respond go in there go ahead i take exception to your i took exception to preserve the years formulations restrict the people. in effect need to be given food and jobs. that's the problem is this mentality of subservience and dependence needs to develop an egypt and some of the other
countries but egypt a particular country looking for three years by the way. is a sense of entrepreneurship and independence and ironically it was hosni mubarak's. a banker. who had experience in britain and elsewhere who was looking towards developing egypt's economy in this free market well and the military which is now fully back in. and in the saddle. is very socialist minded very good and with its vast economic and surprises under its control and i suspect we will see more of the state socialism that's been in place for sixty years and the kind of entrepreneurship it's necessary to create jobs and create wealth is not going to happen in the foreseeable future mike michael thank you you can had had a long go ahead reply you know you're really easy you can create jobs some good
stuff about what i am talking about in the main and we've tried that in morocco is sustainable development project that is you go to villages thousands of them you get a group such as dr six villagers together and they decide on the kind of project they want any kind of project that's going to create jobs empower their people and that is what you're going to need in egypt where they have millions and millions of people are under the poverty line so you are not going to we're not suggesting i think it's great for the government not to have economic development projects but you're going to have to start from the bottom up i sustainable development in these type of countries is essential in my view to lifting them up in the future so that they can become. eventually you know it's all right gentlemen let me jump in here is we're going to go to a short reins after the break we'll continue our discussion of the so-called revolutions in the careful world stay with our.
in. the field. welcome back to prosecute about to remind you we're talking about changes in the arab middle east. and you can. still move. michael if i can go to you it says change gears here let's look at geopolitics how much is the west really interested really seeing all these changes here and i think we we did a good job in the first part of the program is that it's pretty hard to define depending on what's going on to it depending on what area you are looking at civil society democracy reform the military is really very very varied right now but
let's look at the region from the outside looking in how much does the united states for example want to see the military and tunisia and in egypt stay in power more or less as they are great they will honor agreements like with for israel and they still have a good ally they that's what they want they don't they don't never really shown to be have any interest with the people on the ground they just want to country a leader they can count on. the problem is that there's no such thing as the united states when it comes to foreign policy what there is is an administration and i honestly don't know what this administration wants a lot of the democracy activists in egypt were frankly much more happy with george w. bush because there was a consistent push they didn't agree with everything he did they didn't agree with iraq but there was a consistent push in favor of saying no we're in favor of self-determination by the people of these countries the obama administration appears to just want to be on the side of whoever is winning we've recently as recently as january president
biden was singing the praises of the libyan regime and now it turns out no no libya is no good and it's always been bad so we just want to be on the side that's winning and i think people see through that the united states needs to choose some kind of consistent policy and articulate and recognize that this takes place in the context of our only actual ally in the region which is israel. being have having to work together ok i'm going to a mayor you were nodding your head and we should talk about bahrain as well go ahead if you are going to new york. you know what i think i think mike is to some extent is correct but i think the united states'. position ought to be and it is at least a this what obama's been articulated three three centuries point why some reform would have to take place to that no violence should be used against peaceful demonstrators and three that the united states will reward those countries that
follow the first two rules but we have to also remember the united states does not have the same interest in every single country for example if you take the gulf state the united states is going to have to take an entirely different approach because of our interest because our concern about about iran hence our policy and relation with it with back grain it's somewhat different so we are much easier going with bahrain and we doing says safer in libya or in syria at this point that is we have to distinguish here between american national interests in various arab countries and there's no question about it that our conduct and our reaction to each country is depending on the level of interest in each of these countries and i wonder one other point i want to mention when it comes for example to the gulf regardless of the baron has a majority of shiite the this is the majority of population in the gulf is sunni and they are terrified for example of what iran is up to the united states doesn't have a choice but to support the current regime throughout the gulf so we have to distinguish
between american interests the interests of the local government and it's and they're very tough just to try to draw any kind of a template and say all arab states are going to follow the same result that's not going to happen ok daniel you want to jump in there i can see that you want to use your heads you had great head first like i'd like to correct which you sort of producing a united states has not had a consistent policy professor longer pointed out under george w. bush there was a dramatic great contrition some three saying for sixty years we've worked with the tyrants now we're not going to see the building used to be our goal now is marcus. it's a dramatic break but by two thousand and six or so you've given up on something promise continued giving up and we're back more or less to was pretty fast we got a very dramatic into it for three years second point because there was some always appreciate a good story change i mean you could say a change in policy did anything change on the ground mubarak was still there. you still stood still there and wait there were. to give you one example hamas won in
the past in authority and many many effects in iraq here in the us a lot of markers essentially love a lot about the procedure that was not here and democracy brought the people we don't want to know you don't want a second point of view that i'm not so sure i don't want. most westerners don't want most muslims don't want. but the. second point is that i don't know if we have to have a consistent policy i mean in theory yes most of us have a policy that works everywhere but i think will be very hard to thread this. through various different countries i think there's some accountability any of the no no you've got me so i look at it's a very interesting point so the u.s. should just say in the in the european union should say in nato should just say we're just there for a national interest and nothing more we're not going to we're not to talk about democracy when i talk about models here are there no i mean i mean exactly why we
get the hypocrisy night we likewise why we get to the park you see all the time and i think i had going to new york go ahead oh well you know you know this let's let's let's call a spade a spade the united states and the e.u. have a specific interest in the middle east is no question about it they also now we have going revolutions or uprising or throughout the region demanding certain changes certain reforms political reforms better a better way their way of better life better education so that this is that doesn't mean that we cannot reconcile between our national interests and the interests of. with the general public in this region there must be a formula but what i'm saying it's not a simple formula and it's not applicable equally to every single arab nation because our interests differ and the interests of these arab states also differ in connection with their neighbors very as i said before you cannot deal with bahrain in the same manner as you dealt with libya because of iran because of our naval
bases there and so we're going to have to do a difference has the ring of north korea where a promise is ok michael i want to go to you john is right on with the defense minister is the the from the far more that the formula is dictated by the our national interests as well while considering the interests of the laws of the nations in. as i said like the gulf and so you cannot really separate the united states cannot go totally against the interests of the gulf no it can't go focus only on its own there's ok mike go ahead i want you to my going to have to find out why the our how do you how do you mean original how do they get married how do you marry the two what's the formula. i can see it it's quite right to say that we're not going to have the same policy for every country there are cultural differences there's a bottom many differences what i guess i'm looking for is some consistent principle of a way of saying this is what the united states is trying to accomplish the problem that i see i guess you could call it a park or sea or contradiction is that we we've seen the results of this with jimmy
carter jimmy carter's foreign policy mostly consisted of scolding countries that he thought didn't live up to the standards that the united states actually really didn't support itself because there were a bunch of puppet regimes around the world that we supported to try to prevent the countries from going communist now we schooled countries for not having elections but we also prop up the gives dictators in the hopes that they will not become islamic democracies well the who we have to have some more consistent principle it seems to me then you want to jump in there which would be your formula i'm not sure . i coined a term during the soviet era of friendly tyrants. i guess is self-explanatory we have now from the tyrants again and i'm not a lot of either i sure wish everyone were to come across but i think it is in our interests and of their interests that there be a stability and they move slowly and carefully towards as we talked about earlier
towards democracy and not rush things and not have revolution and not have islamists and not have iranian takeovers and so forth so i'm ok with with different policies in different countries cotton talk receive quality consistency but that's the reality of making foreign policy especially for a great power ok you want to see we've seen the result jimmy jimmy. jimmy carter it and somebody brought us to the islamic revolution in iran that's very interesting let's go back if you're a it was democratic. but people say if you go to new york. and then you had absolutely right on this point that is we go and we cannot therefore no nor should we have necessarily the same exact policy toward every single arab country that is not going to happen again because of the reason i mentioned earlier what we need to do how are we adhere to two or three principles like this we should be supporting reforms as
a general rule we should be insisting that the use of violence against peaceful demonstrators and we should also say that we will be rewarding those nations those countries that are going to follow the two of these two principles consistencies in that regard is absolutely necessary president of america articulated that in a very strong go my goal is not use a stick or use a stick use even if i may just try you have to use a stick some time when they're going to adhere to as we have done with it with it with libya has begun to we need to do now in syria and elsewhere that is when the when these government do not adhere to the two to a visit to an initial tour requirement then we're going to have to use a stick if it becomes necessary and i think sometimes. too late in using the stick as we are doing say for example with syria michael going to go to you what about these are military these humanitarian interventions is the setting an example good example of what can happen if if tyrants don't go reforms don't happen because you know there syria on the on the agenda there and this is sending messages through
the entire region that if you you know the stick can come out is that make does not fix things or make things better. well what it seems to have happened in libya is were we there's going to be a long term stalemate and the people are worse off than they would be if there were stability and if there were. maybe even mid some cases if there were a dick a dictator so that the principle of nonviolence the principle of moving toward self-determination having us reward those i understand i'm skeptical that we know enough about which side to support we may end up supporting a group that ends up if they win will just become an islamic dictatorship ok danny let me give you the last word on this for this is the city of daniel the last word let me end. let me end on a humorous note answer malcolm recently noted no samples times because you've got
nothing to worry about if obama threatens you as in iran or. syria you've got a lot to worry about if he doesn't say a word as in the case of libya or not so it's a straight it's actually true that when a u.s. president is telling us what's out there means you're ok all right gentlemen thank you very much many thanks my guest today in boston and in new york and thanks to our viewers for watching us here on r.g.p. see you next time and remember prost topples. wealthy british science.